Clippers Keep Losing and Losing and Losing
Thanks to the Lakers and the Super Bowl, the spotlight was taken off the Clippers for a little bit. But as we rolled around today in our own preservative filled post-Super Bowl hangover of discarded pig intestines and processed dairy products and assorted amalgamations of sodium-enhanced legume mixtures, it was hard not to take a look at the Clippers tonight.
Simply put, they stunk.
When the Clippers were winning 17 games in a row back in December, the whole world fell in love with these adorable scamps that represented what was once the landfill of the NBA. Finally the Clippers were real contenders, and good things were predicted for them.
Of course the nuanced fan knew that for the Clippers to be successful, they would have to avoid their curse by staying healthy. It was the only way they would be able to develop a half-court game so they could function in the playoffs.
Here we are a few months removed from that streak, and the Clippers aren't looking that hot. They started their eight-game Grammy road trip 1-2, and Chris Paul was out for his eight consecutive game with a bruised knee. Although Grant Hill has emerged from the dead, Chauncey Billups is still recovering from a bum back.
And to complete the trifecta, before the Clippers took the floor in the District they found out they would be without Blake Griffin and his bum hamstring.
The Clippers didn't play like the worst case scenario. That would have been having the rest of their starting lineup plus Jamal Crawford, Eric Bledsoe and Matt Barnes getting injured against the Washington Wizards. While that indignity was avoided, the indignity of losing to the Wiz wasn't.
The final score read 98-90, and the game played like it: a Clippers team that couldn't figure out the Wizards. The Clippers didn't help their own cause with 20 turnovers resulting in 24 points for the Wiz. Eight of those turnovers came in the fourth quarter that resulted in 14 points. The Wizards also took advantage of Griffin being out scoring 34 points in paint.
One bright spot for the Clippers was DeAndre Jordan grabbing a career-high 22 rebounds, the third 20-rebound game in his career. But Lamar Odom starting in place of Griffin managed only three points and nine rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Crawford scored a game-high 28 points while Bledsoe and Caron Butler backed him up with 17 points and 15 points respectively.
Sure, the Clippers are deep. But as was proven tonight, it's difficult to win when two of the most important players in your franchise's history sits out with injuries. Paul will play some three-on-three in Orlando tomorrow before they play the Magic on Wednesday. So it sounds like he is close to returning. And with the late scratch, Griffin doesn't look to miss a ton of games.
Perhaps there's a lot of preoccupation with the latest trade rumors. The Sporting News reported on Sunday that the Clippers are interested in Kevin Garnett from the Boston Celtics before the trade deadline on February 21. Sean Deveney reported that the Celtics would want Bledsoe and Butler in return.
Nonetheless the Clippers are now 1-3 in this Grammy road trip and have lost seven of their last nine games.
It just disappointing, almost as disappointing as finding this picture of Johnny Manziel and Rob Gronkowski fully clothed and without drinks at some sort of shindig. Fully clothed! Sad. Just imagine the two of them filled with booze... ahem. Excuse my overactive imagination.
Down in Anaheim, the Ducks have been playing remarkably well especially after ripping the Kings on Saturday with a 7-4 win. But tonight they faced a rematch of the San Jose Sharks who had nipped them in a shootout 3-2 up in San Jose last Tuesday. San Jose came out of the gate winning seven straight before losing in a shootout to the Nashville Predators on Saturday.
So you expected a bit of offense, right?
Not really. The Ducks handed the Sharks their first regulation loss 2-1. While the Ducks outshot the Sharks 33-26, seemingly a gaudy statistic, the quality chances weren't there for either team.
What there was a lot of were rebounds. Fat juicy ones that even had me salivating like a pot roast just coming out of the oven. Logan Couture took advantage of one in the first period after a rebound off of Ducks goaltender Viktor Fasth.
Not so Fasth boys.
The Ducks got a huge bit of fortune early in the third period. Tommy Wingels tried to clear the puck behind his net around the boards. Instead the puck took an odd bounce and hit the skate of goalie Thomas Greiss before lying harmlessly in the paint. Saku Koivu saw the puck and tipped it past the line into the net to tie the game.
The game winner in the third period by Sheldon Souray was a bit more curious, a shot from the left point where Greiss looked unscreened.
Fasth made 25 saves in the victory while Greiss turned away 31 shots.
The Ducks have their fake Grammy road trip coming up. A bullriding competition and the Harlem Globetrotters will evict the Ducks from the Honda Ponda for six games over ten days.